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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  December 31, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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news at 5:00. "cbs evening news with scott pelley" is next. >> quijano: new year's fears, fire in a high-rise hotel, then fireworks and plenty of firearms in the tightest security ever. also tonight, rivers are cresting at record levels in missouri. homes are being swept away. the slopes are stranded. profits are melting after the warmest december on record. >> i'm sad looking at the mountains without snow. >> quijano: and troubled kids getting a fresh start through hard work. >> you did it! come on! captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> quijano: good evening. scott is off tonight. i'm elaine quijano. this is our western edition. there is celebration but also deep concern in cities around
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the world as we usher in 2016. a massive fire broke out in a high-rise hotel in dubai hours before the midnight fireworks which went on-- as scheduled. police in munich, germany evacuated two train stations after receiving what they called a serious imminent threat of a terror attack. brussels canceled its party as arrests were made in a terror plot. security is tighter than ever in new york's times square, which is jammed with a million people. we have a team of correspondents covering this. first, holly williams, who has been following the fire in dubai. holly. >> reporter: elaine, the dubai government says that the fire broke out on the 20th floor of the address hotel, quickly engulfing the 63-story luxury hotel and apartment building. the fire apparently began at around 9:30 p.m. local time. you can see the entire skyscraper lit up against the night sky. now, the dubai authorities say that they now have the fire
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under control, and they also say that only one person was killed by a heart attack during the evacuation. another 15 people were injured. the cause of the fire is still not known. and eyewitnesses say the fire spread very rapidly through the tower, which is almost 1,000 feet tall. >> the heat was so intense outside it was unbelievable. and just people started to panic, crushing each other trying to get down the stairs and jumping over railings. i couldn't believe how fast it actually happened. >> there were people running in the corridors, and i ended up having to put somebody on my back. he was in a wheelchair, carried him down to the ground floor. >> quijano: but, holly, this didn't affect the new year's celebrations. >> reporter: surprisingly, elaine, no, it did not. around an hour after the fire broke out, the dubai authorities tweeted that city's new year's eve celebrations would go ahead as planned and centered on the
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world's tallest building, the burj khalifa, which stands just a few hundred yards from that hotel fire. >> quijano: holly williams reporting tonight. holly, thank you. munich, germany was just about to celebrate the new year when police got word of a terror threat. they cleared two train stations and told people to avoid crowds. elizabeth palmer has more on new year's in europe. ( cheers ) >> reporter: not even terrorist threats could keep europeans from ringing in the new, from moscow to berlin. although everywhere, security was heavy. especially paris, where terrorists struck twice this year. there, the defense minister himself appeared with some of the 11,000 soldiers on duty. it was a photo-op designed to reassure both residents and visitors. >> we're not really scared about it. we want to enjoy it. we've never been here on new year's eve, and it's magical. >> reporter: but the magic was scaled back a little.
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there were no fireworks this year, and the traditional party on the champs elysee will wrap up earlier than usual. in brussels, the official party was canceled. soldiers fanned out across the city and workers dismantled the stage where the new year's show was to go on. after the arrest of two men suspected of planning holiday attacks. some think it was an over- reaction. >> i think it's backing down to the threat of terrorism. i think we should stand up and just make everything happen. >> reporter: but belgians are edgy. this week, police arrested yet another suspect with links to the paris attacks in molenbeek, a brussels suburb that was home to two of the other attackers and one of them, saleh abdeslam, is still on the loose. still, new year's eve is for celebration, says brussels club owner pablo saccomano. >> i really believe that the people from brussels need to go out and party and need to gather as well and to bond together.
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>> reporter: and it wasn't only the belgian police, elaine, who discovered evidence of a new year's terrorist attack. the turks, too, have arrested two men they say were planning to bomb crowded areas in ankara tonight. >> quijano: elizabeth palmer, thank you. new york city mayor bill de blasio says times square will be the safest place in the world when the ball drops at midnight. about a million people are there, as is don dahler. don. >> reporter: the n.y.p.d. says they're going to make good on the mayor's promise by raising the security here to the highest level since 9/11. it's a new york ritual. beginning at dawn, more than a million people are searched before being herded into 65 massive viewing pens. but this year, there are more police than ever. undercover officers roam among the revelers, snipers watch from rooftops, and helicopters hover overhead. among the crowds, a radiation detector and bomb-sniffing dogs.
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commissioner bill bratton. >> we are aware that the threat picture has changed because of isis. it's changed significantly from a year ago or two years ago. >> reporter: while insisting there is no specific threat, officials are concerned about individuals like 25-year-old emanuel lutchman. he was charged in rochester wednesday morning with a plot to commit an armed attack against civilians on new year's eve on behalf of isis. in his possession were ski masks, ammonia, duct tape, and a machete. los angeles has also increased the number of cameras and officers along the rose bowl parade root. mark selby heads homeland security in southern california. >> there's never been a time that there have been more law enforcement personnel, seen and unseen, and there's never been a time that there's been more technology deployed in order to make it a more secure set of events. >> reporter: in las vegas, 1,000 uniformed and undercover
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officers are patrolling the strip. and in pittsburgh, extra canine, s.w.a.t., and explosive teams have been added to protect the 40,000 to 50,000 spectators. janis wilson runs the event. >> we've always had a great deal of security for first night, but with all of the things happening in the world, we're taking even greater precaution. >> reporter: more than one billion people will be watching ois on television all over the world, but about 40 blocks south of where i'm standing, there are a few more viewers watching things more intently. elaine, these are specially trained police officers, keeping an eye on hundreds of closed circuit cameras. >> quijano: don dahler reporting from times square tonight. don, thank you. historic winter floods have killed at least 22 people this week in the midwest. nearly a foot of rain caused the mississippi river to rise towards record levels, along with the meramec river, and nearly a half dozen others in the region. david begnaud is in valley park, missouri. david. >> reporter: elaine, good evening. where we are standing, this is usually one of the busiest intersections in st. louis county where there would usually
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be semis passing through, tonight it is water from the meramec river, which crested earlier today. but tonight, not far behind where i am standing, it is nearly 20 feet deep, where it should be dry. over the next 12 hours, the mississippi river is expected to crest in st. louis at 42.5 feet, nearly 12 feet above flood stage. john houser lives just south of st. louis in the city of arnold. >> we're just fighting the water, and it's up to the red line right there, just trying to keep the pumps running and make sure the wall doesn't fail and hope the water goes down in a hurry. >> reporter: overnight, the floodwaters snarled traffic for miles, and today missouri's busy i-55 became the second major interstate to close this week. gene liston was stuck in the middle of it. >> there's nowhere you can go, you know. i mean, it's water, but, you know, if there >> reporter: statewide, more than 12 people have been killed due to the extreme flooding. it has washed away homes,
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highways-- >> that is highway 141. >> reporter: and shut down water treatment plants. steve stenger is the executive of st. louis county. how many miles do you estimate are under water? >> it would be difficult to estimate but very near us right now there are about seven miles under water, right where we're standing. >> reporter: that should be dry. >> that should be dry. >> reporter: back in the city of arnold, robert smoke says the worst may be yet to come. >> we're to the point now where the sandbagging, it's not going to hold it back. we're going to lose probably anywhere from 100 to 150 homes will be affected by this flood, it not more. >> reporter: back here in st. louis county where we are despite massive flooding. the county executive says not one person has been hurt or killed since the flooding started. elaine. >> quijano: extraordinary pictures. david begnaud reporting tonight. david, thank you. in the northeast, this was the warmest december on record. the average temperature in
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concord, new hampshire, 38 degrees, was the warmest since 1868. 51 in new york's central park, the warmest in 147 years. 51 in philadelphia broke the record set in 1874. for businesses that rely on snow, rising temperatures mean plummeting profits. here's demarco morgan. >> reporter: with near-empty lifts and near-barren slopes, this wasn't the ski trip jackeline vasquez was hoping for. >> it's a mess. it's a mess. the snow's wearing down. this is the last time i'm going. i'm going home now. >> reporter: unseasonably warm temperatures left skiers scrambling. vicki said this one trail at jack frost ski resort in pennsylvania was their only option. >> every single one closed, closed, closed, until we get here and they said we just have one trail open. very disappointing. >> reporter: this barren landscape is a far cry from the winter wonderland of last year. >> it's not best-look snow, but at least we're open. >> reporter: general manager mark daubert.
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>> we've had some tough years where it's been warm, but it's never been this warm continuously. >> reporter: is this a first for you in your experience? >> had tough starts, but this is the worst ever. >> reporter: it's not just here in blakeslee, pennsylvania. webcams at other resorts such at blue mountain, camelback, spring mountain and shawnee show snowless slopes. some are reporting they have lost 20% of their business so far. colder temperatures start arriving tonight as the new year arrives, and daubert is hoping to make up for lost time. >> we'll get this thing started by the latter part of the weekend, and early next week, with the cold air coming in, we'll be back on our feet and get rolling again. >> reporter: elaine, we've learned that more than 70 ski resorts across the northeast are closed, but those numbers are likely to change with the temperatures expected to drop in the new year. >> quijano: demarco morgan reporting from pennsylvania tonight. demarco, thank you. in the presidential race, several key aides have quit ben carson's campaign just a month
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before the iowa caucuses. carson had led several republican polls in iowa but has faded in recent weeks. today, campaign manager barry bennett stepped down, as did doug watts, the communications director. bennett says carson has been ignoring him and relying on his longtime business manager armstrong willaims, a radio and tv host. williams denies that and carson had no comment. coming up, police in los angeles explain why crime is on the rise. jerry seinfeld takes a spin with the commander in comedy. and the golden gate bridge has a brush with big ben when "the cbs evening news" continues. just switch from denture paste to sea-bond denture adhesive seals. holds stronger than the leading paste all day... without the ooze. feel secure. be yourself. with stronger, clean sea-bond.
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ben tracy is there. >> multiple shootings in the area. >> reporter: two drive-by shootings last night in los angeles left one man dead and two others wounded. so far this year, there have been 280 homicides in l.a., up 10% from last year. the number of rapes increased 8.6%, and aggravated assaults jumped more than 27%. >> the spike in crime, i don't understand. >> reporter: iona diggs has lived in south l.a. for more than 60 years. her neighborhood has seen 74 more people shot in 2015, compared to last year. what kind of crimes have you seen increased? >> the shootings, drive-by shootings. >> reporter: so serious stuff. >> serious stuff. >> reporter: all 21 l.a.p.d. divisions are reporting crime increases. that's notable because crime had fallen dramatically in los angeles in the past decade due to a crackdown on gang-related crime. police attribute some of this year's crime spike to a
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resurgence of gang violence this summer. in august, l.a.p.d. commander phillip tingirides told cbs news about a two-week span in south l.a. where 50 people were shot, 15 of them homicides. >> there were internal gang disputes, there were love triangles, there was domestic violence. most everything involved gangs in some way, shape, or form. >> reporter: since then the l.a.p.d. has stepped up community policing. iona diggs says she's not going to let gangs take back her neighborhood. >> don't say this is your 'hood because it's not. it's ours, you know, and i'm going to protect my 'hood, as you say. >> reporter: while crime is up, it is worth noting that it is still quite a bit less than it used to be. in 1992, this city saw more than 1,000 homicides. elaine, this year that number is expected to be less than 300. >> quijano: ben tracy breaking down the statistics tonight, ben, thank you. jerry seinfeld goes for a ride with the president, next. next.
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( crunching ) >> are these washed? ( laughs ) >> come on. let's go. let's go get some coffee. >> quijano: last night, president obama appeared on jerry seinfeld's online series "comedians and cars getting coffee." seinfeld said president has delivered just enough funny lines to qualify as a comedian. their conversation ranged from silly to surprisingly candid. >> how far you can wander around up there in your underwear, how far can you get before there's, like, people, and it's not cool? >> it's not cool, generally, wandering around in my underwear. >> how many world leaders do you think are just completely out of their mind? >> a pretty sizable percent. >> quijano: the president, who rarely gets to drive, took seinfeld's 1963 corvette for a
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spin around the white house grounds. a tremendous ship named "the benjamin franklin," "big ben" for short, pulled into oakland, california, today after narrowly making it under the golden gate bridge. at 1,300 feet, it's longer than the empire state building and the largest cargo ship ever to dock in the u.s. a unique program is giving troubled kids a second chance. how are they doing one year later? that's next. except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis.
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>> get up out of your bunk! let's go! >> reporter: a lot has changed for 18-year-old adjekai stewart since we first met her in july 2014 at sunburst youth challenge academy. >> yes, sergeant! >> you better hurry up! let's go. >> reporter: she and 200 other rebellious, unfocused high school dropouts were getting a wake-up call like none they'd ever heard. >> the day is going to be a long day! >> reporter: for five-and-a-half months, we watched as they were transformed physically-- >> keep pushing. >> reporter: and emotionally. stewart spent 10 minutes atop this confidence-building course. >> i can't! >> reporter: before she was coaxed into taking a leap of faith. >> yeah! >> there you go. there you go. good job. >> you did it, stewart! >> reporter: do you see, though, how far you've come?
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>> i have, i have because i felt like i was just such a weak person back then. >> reporter: but if you hadn't gone through that. >> i wouldn't be where i am. i wouldn't. >> reporter: where she is, is a first-semester college student. stewart graduated challenge academy last december. then she graduated from high school in june. >> i cried the next day because i was like, wow, like, i actually-- i actually finished. i actually graduated. so it was really cool. >> reporter: 17-year-old parker coker is almost finished, too. >> you're doing good, man, you're fine. >> reporter: at sunburst, we found a kid trying to climb out of the hole of his bad choices. back then, he explained it this way: >> you gotta look ahead, and it's not really easy to look ahead when you don't know how to, when nobody's really taught you how to. >> reporter: he'll graduate high school next year and plans to join the army. got a girlfriend? >> no. >> reporter: why not? >> it's that or straight "a"s and i chose the straight "a"s. >> reporter: where would you be if not for sunburst?
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>> probably in juvenile hall. yeah. >> reporter: we heard the same from nearly all of the sunburst cadets we followed through this program. edward tucker graduated high school this month. christa hopkins and francisco lazo are on track to get their diplomas next year. angel kay lemaster has dived right into her post-sunburst life, and plans to try out for the swim team at rubidox high school. >> rock! rock! >> louder now. >> rock! >> reporter: the lengthy 16- year-old with the buzzcut could barely hold it together during the first few days at sunburst. if you listen to her story, you can understand why. >> me and my mom were homeless pretty much sleeping in cars, underneath freeways. yes, first sergeant! i was always on my own, couch hopping my entire teenaged life,
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which caused me to drop out. >> reporter: but now, she's focused on the future because she understands her past. >> i messed my life up, you know, and it's hard to sit there and think that i messed my life up so bad they needed to go to sunburst in the first place. but it was an opportunity to open myself up and have a fresh start, a better chance. >> reporter: a second chance. >> a second chance. >> reporter: more than 120,000 high school dropouts have gone through the national guard youth challenge program since it was created back in 1993. sunburst is one of the most successful, with a 92% success rate. and, elaine, they just graduated 200 more students this month. >> quijano: compelling reporting. michelle miller, thank you so much. >> quijano: that's the "cbs evening news." for scott pelley, i'm elaine quijano. happy new year and good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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francisco. good evening, i'm martin new at 6:00, hot wheels. thieves caught in the act pulling off a luxury car heist in san francisco. >> good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm betty yu. kpix 5's emily turner is at the dealership south of market. emily. >> reporter: betty, not one luxury car, seven luxury cars all of them stolen an taken right out here out of the front gate of the dealership. in full view of surveillance cameras four thieves made quick work of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cars. they stole them right out from under the nose of the royal honor group's service department. >> been here since 1947.
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you feel violated. >> reporter: the thieves knew how to cut the gate and crack the electronic entry into the garage, knew where the keys were kept and took 7 of them. five cars belonged to the dealership and two to customers. >> we have roaming security patrols and they were able to circumvent the things we have in place. >> reporter: you think it was an inside job then? >> it's so hard to say. i mean, professional of these are professional thieves. -- professional thieves are professional thieves. >> reporter: there are three hispanic men and one hispanic woman and they got away with tools and computers. the dealership just hopes they don't get away with the whole thing. the victim in sis not only, unfortunately, our people but us as a business. we have been here since 1 1947. >> reporter: this is


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